Tag Archives: Thames

CitizensGO – Free Speech in Thames

Free Speech in Thames

via CitizenGO

Dear Friends of life,

Please sign this petition to support the right of free speech and
assembly.

A group of courageous pro-lifers have been assembling peacefully for an hour on Friday mornings over the last five years outside the Thames Hospital, when abortions are being performed. They peacefully pray and give witness to the right to life of unborn children and to protest at the violence inflicted on women, the second victims of abortion. They have a permit for this activity, which has been issued by the Thames Coromandel District Council.

Very recently a group of Green Party/ALRANZ pro-abortion activists, were issued with a permit to mount a counter demonstration at exactly the same time and same place. This group has been harassing the pro-life group and have stated that they will not stop until the pro-life group is driven off the street.

We believe that the pro-abortion group have contrived to make a false accusation to the Council and to the Police that one of the pro-life protesters has assaulted a woman. They have now petitioned the Council to cancel the pro-life group’s permit. The Green Party support abortion and we believe that they are using this situation as a test case with the intention of seeking to having the law changed, to impose a bubble zone around every hospital and clinic in New Zealand, where unborn children are being aborted. They seek to prohibit any person praying, or protesting against the killing of the innocent within that zone.

Again we encourage you to sign this petition in support of the right to free speech and assembly.

Thames Time

I was once given a Tamborine and asked to join in what seemed to be a mass gathering of people with somewhere to go. I had nowhere to be so I took hold of the Tamborine and joined the march. I later learned that it was a demonstration against some of the oil giants by a left leaning environmentalists. Interesting because at that stage I was still a member of the Green Party.

After that I took part in what I thought was an all too peaceful protest as a response to the war in Iraq. The group seemed too content to stick to the footpath as we made our way from the centre of a city to the middle of a large and populous park. That time I was prepared with anti war slogans painted on my person and an over ambitious desire to walk in and into the flow of traffic.

These days I lean more to the right, though political ideology is very much in submission to theology. It’s been over ten years since I’ve been part of anything resembling a public demonstration but today it was rekindled as I shared a street corner with former comrades representing ALRANZ.

A much more peaceful demonstration, I stood holding a sign that refuted the notion that abortion is a matter of social Liberty. Featuring an image of what I guess was a 16 week old preborn human being, the sign said “Abortion is not my choice.”

But why was I there? Why I had I gotten up in the dark, kissed goodbye to my family to arrive in Thames at 7:15?

Once a week, every weeks or five years, a small but faithful group of men and women have stood near the Thames hospital offering those considering abortion another option. Organisational and independent voices converging around a common cause: to love and support women and their children.

Recently there has emerged a counter-demonstration. Calling for an end to the supposed harassment and judgement of women seeking to exercise their bodily autonomy, representatives of ALRANZ have begun to take their place alongside the faithful. Their claims suggest that the peaceful sidewalk attendants are contributors to the shame and stigma surrounding abortion. Their signs and banners reflected that with slogans like “Stop the harassment of women accessing abortion” and “Stop judging…” along with “Toot for choice”. And toot they did.

Thames Time

The counter demonstrators out numbered “us” but despite my satirical comments and news of previous weeks gatherings I felt neither fear nor intimidation. Rather, a spirit of peace was very much resident within my heart as I faced passing traffic with my sign.

In their attempt to politicise the situation, the ALRANZ representatives, one of whom is an employee of the local body council, have pushed for demonstration by permit only. And so the opposing groups have each applied and were granted permits to stand on the same corner one the same day at the same time. What I saw in miniature today has apparently been more aggressive as the ALRANZ group jostled for prime position. And unlike other weeks, today there were no chants, no slander, any noise coming in response to the “Toot for choice” sign.

There, on the adjacent corner, stood Daniel. Another employee of the local body council, it seems Daniel was there to ensure permit conditions were being adhered to. Boldly, wanting a panoramic shot of the action, Kate approached the adjacent corner and in addition to photos got into conversation with Daniel. Kate was able to question the lucidity of the situation, especially as it related to the councils issuing of permits and the alleged harassment. No sooner had the conversation become fruitful than Daniel’s coworker interrupted, gaining his attention and spouting some diatribe about having to call on some men after previously feeling unsafe.

Permitted our position until 9:30 am, the ALRANZ crew rolled up their banners shortly after 9, leaving the faithful to continue their quiet presence, before promptly disassembling.